Sacred Sites and Holy Places

Welcome to a conference close to our heart: Sacred Sites & Holy Places. We will be exploring different sacred sites, focusing on the planning of a Polytheist pilgrimage. We will also look at new ways to connect and work with sacred sites from your own home to enrich your devotional practice.

To learn more about our Year With the Gods conferences, pricing, and registration, please visit our conference page.


Saturday, November 21st 2020
11:30 AM – 11:45 AM Room open for tech checks
11:45 AM – 12:00 PM Opening Devotionals
12:00 PM – 1:15 PM Haven Jean Garvey
Living in a Sacred Landscape
1:15 PM – 1:45 PM Break
1:45 PM – 3:15 PM Robin Corak
The Magic of Pilgrimage
3:15 PM – 3:30 PM Break
3:30 PM – 5:00 PM Sara Amis
The Witch in the Village, the Witch in the Wild
5:00 PM – 5:15 PM Break
5:15 PM – 6:45 PM Branwen Rogers
When Travel isn’t an Option: Connecting to Sacred Sites from afar
Sunday, November 22nd 2020
9:45 AM – 10:00 AM Room open for tech checks
10:00 AM – 10:15 AM Opening devotionals
10:15 AM – 11:45 AM Parker Appel
Adapting the Way: Seeking the Divine while Disabled
11:45 AM – 12:00 PM Break
12:00 PM – 1:15 PM Silence Maestas
Holy Mountains and Sacred Steps: Polytheist Pilgrimage
1:15 PM – 1:45 PM Break
1:45 PM – 3:15 PM Llyne Foy
Museum Travel and Devotional Photography


Haven Jean Garvey

Living in a Sacred Landscape

Haven lives in the South-west of England, an area rich in Neolithic sites, stone circles, earthworks and burial chambers. Each of these has their own folklore, myths and legends surrounding them, and can be approached in many ways. Haven will take us on a birthday tour of a few of their local sites, tell us some stories and talk about how to relate to these sites whether or not it’s possible to visit them in person. Connection to the land is an important part of Haven’s belief and practice, so expect them to waffle on about the local trees for a while too!

Haven is a Polytheist and witch who hangs around with Druids and frolics with trees. You’ll usually see them with a musical instrument to hand singing to whoever and whatever will listen and cooing at their delightful ferret-buddies.

Parker Appel

Adapting the Way: Seeking the Divine while Disabled

The word “pilgrimage” often brings to mind rocky paths through ancient ruins in remote locations, leading many people with specific access needs to write off the concept entirely. Whether it’s a sensory disability, chronic pain, the use of adaptive tech, or a medical condition that needs managing, travel to historic or remote places poses unique challenges for people with disabilities and chronic illnesses. Let’s consider adaptations and alternatives to traditional concepts of pilgrimage. Sacred journeys are not just for the rich and healthy.

Parker Appel (they/them) is a queer, nonbinary, disabled pagan and a votary of the goddess Brighid. They have an undergraduate education in historic preservation and more than ten years of experience adapting outdoor activities for a wide variety of abilities and needs. They offer divination and spiritual coaching services through The Flame and Compass, and they currently serve on the advisory council for Clann Bhríde. Parker enjoys reading young adult fantasy novels, camping, and a variety of handicrafts.


When Travel isn’t an Option: Connecting to Sacred Sites from afar

Travel is not always attainable. 2020 has hammered this home for many but even without those factors, there are lots of reasons why making a physical pilgrimage to sacred sites may not be possible. While there is nothing that can take the place of the visceral experience of physical pilgrimage, our new age of technology does make it more possible than ever to learn about and learn from sacred sites from the comfort of your own home. Branwen will be sharing the resources that are available to making connections and gathering information about sacred sites that goes beyond just the written word, and how she has taken these resources to weave sacred sites into her personal practice without having to get on a plane. Hopefully this presentation inspires other ways that you may deepen your own practices and the places that have a special place in your heart.

Branwen is a US polytheist who worships the Irish Pantheon. She has nearly ten years experience serving as a Priestess, creating and supporting sacred experiences through public pagan ritual in the California Bay Area. Hospitality, devotion, and courage are at the heart of her practice, and through them she focuses her love and desire for open-hearted community into the magic she offers. Co-founder of the Cauldron of the Celts, Branwen takes this focus further, through dedication to her Gods of the Tuatha Dé Danann, by creating devotional events with a firm foundation in the celebration and glory of the Gods and life through joy and connection. As a devotee of the Morrigan and the Dagda, she strives to become a better person for herself and her community.

Robin Corak

The Magic of Pilgrimage

A pilgrimage is always an inward journey as much as it is an outward one. The desire to connect with sacred spaces and places exists in almost every culture and faith, and pilgrimage has been practiced by seekers from all walks of life for thousands of years. This workshop will share the presenter’s experiences in visiting sacred places in a variety of areas including but not limited to Kildare, Ireland; the Highlands of Scotland, and Glastonbury, England. In addition, this workshop will offer the following information:

  • How to prepare for pilgrimage to get the most out of the journey
  • How to make travel sacred
  • Ways to bring the pilgrimage home and reconnect with the energies of the sacred place
  • Methods for making local and/or inner pilgrimages (especially helpful in the age of COVID!)

Robin Corak is the author of the Moon Books Pagan Portals title “Persephone: Practicing the Art of Personal Power”. Robin has presented locally and at national conferences including Paganicon (2019), Pantheacon (2018), and the SOA Ninefold Festival (2019 and 2020). A long time member of the Sisterhood of Avalon where she currently serves as the Board Secretary, Robin has also had her writing published in multiple anthologies and currently writes a blog for Agora Patheos entitled “Phoenix Rising”. Robin has a passion for travel and has made pilgrimages to sacred spaces in Ireland, Scotland, England, China, Tahiti, Spain, Italy, and Mexico. She has several years of experience with modalities such as Reiki, coaching, and tarot reading. Passionate about helping others achieve their full potential, Robin is also the CEO of a large, non-profit social services organization in Washington state. Robin is currently working on her next book about the goddess Demeter.

Silence Maestas

Holy Mountains and Sacred Steps: Polytheist Pilgrimage

Sacred travel is an immersive and transformative religious experience for modern polytheists, but if our entire world is holy, why leave home at all? This session explores pilgrimage and sacred travel in a pan-polytheist context, considering both physical and metaphysical aspects of this valuable undertaking.

Silence Maestas is an artist, educator, and sometimes author based in Salt Lake City, UT. With an approach to knowledge modeled on the noble and charismatic alpine pika, Silence has far-ranging interests and will talk loudly about them with minimal encouragement; he has talked loudly at PantheaCon, Many Gods West, SpiritCon (UT), and in private engagements. Paid to be an academic (medical) librarian and not paid to be an artist, Sy is enthusiastic about basically everything related to polytheism and spirit work, and basically everything else, too. Areas of particular interest include Loki, divination, polytheist devotional practice, ritual design, Loki, Bengali Hinduism, fiber arts/costuming/sewing, bibliophilia, and Loki.

Sara Amis

The Witch in the Village, the Witch in the Wild

Since I wrote “Song of the Chattahoochee: On Being a Southern (Pagan) Witch in Atlanta’s Urban Landscape,” I’ve landed in what I can only describe as a magical village oddly located in central DeKalb County. I am among my people, and have developed a rooted spiritual relationship with this specific place, yet I frequently feel the need to flee into the mountains I grew up in, as deep into the woods as I can easily get. I think there’s an inherent tension in a certain kind of witchcraft, wherein no matter how congenial the human community you find yourself in, you must inevitably have one foot outside of it. This is going to be less “how to” and more philosophical than my usual approach, and it will also have readings to look at ahead of time.

Sara Amis holds an MFA in Creative Writing and a certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Georgia, where she currently teaches. Her work has appeared in Datura, Sacred Lands and Spiritual Landscapes, A Mantle of Stars: Devotional for the Queen of Heaven, Lilith, Queen of the Desert, Witches and Pagans, the feminist speculative poetry anthology The Moment of Change, and

Llyne Foy

Museum Travel and Devotional Photography

As a polytheist with over two decades of experience exploring Europe at every opportunity, Llyne has a wealth of field-tested advice – developed by entertaining trial and error – to make the most of your visits to museums and archaeological sites while on pilgrimage. She’ll be sharing both what she knows and what she predicts about how planning may need to adapt in the wake of COVID-19. Llyne will also discuss her practice of devotional photography that naturally evolved over the course of her travels, well illustrated by examples of her work.

Llyne Foy is an independent mystic/scholar/pilgrim in Seattle, WA who works within a Gallo-Mediterranean context and is bound with Lugos, Souconna and Cathubodua.


To learn more about our Year With the Gods conferences, pricing, and registration, please visit our conference page.